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OPINION: Can this 12-step program from Finland aid U.S. education?

The Hechinger Report – Michael Hynes and William Doyle

“We are two American public-school dads who just returned from a fact-finding trip through Finland. We wanted to see what the United States could learn from an education system that consistently receives top marks from UNICEF, the OECD and the World Economic Forum. Why should we bother to learn from a small country of just 5.5 million people that is less diverse than America, and that has a history very different from our own?” (more)

Can you solve it? Five shady puzzles

The Guardian – Alex Bellos

“Today’s puzzles are about the shade, by which I mean the shaded areas in the geometrical diagrams below. The images are to be studied and contemplated, until the pleasurable moment of insight arrives…” (more)

For the sake of kids, embrace math

The Conversation – Andy Hargreaves and Pasi Sahlberg

“Mathematics is causing headaches in schools across Canada, Australia and many other parts of the world. Teachers in both Canada and Australia feel neither competent nor confident in math and, frankly, they are the first to admit it. As researchers, educators and authors who have advised globally about best practices for improving learning and achievement, we have had opportunities to notice common trends and obstacles, and notable gains, in math education.” (more)

Organizing Students for Learning

Edutopia – Todd Finley

“If you’re like me, nobody taught you how to organize yourself for middle and high school academic life. You just picked it up over time. That might work for some adolescents, but not for those with executive function (EF) struggles. They need more intensive support.” (more)

The Benefits of Ear-Reading

Edutopia – Dana Blackaby

“I’m a dyslexia specialist, and I work to promote a growth mindset and establish an expectation of high achievement for all of my students, so I ask them every day, “What are you reading today?” A key strategy I use is having them read along with audiobooks, which is beneficial in tying their emotional belief system directly to their academic performance.” (more)

The Benefits of Borrowing

Education Next – Benjamin M. Marx and Lesley J. Turner

“The number of undergraduates in the United States has increased by more than 30 percent since 2000, with two-year institutions absorbing the majority of new students. At the same time, outstanding student-loan debt has grown nationwide, reaching $1.4 trillion in 2018.” (more)

The Disordered Order Of Competencies In Education

Forbes – Peter Greene

“Competency Based Education (or Proficiency Based Learning, or Outcome Based Education, or Mastery Learning, or whatever new name appears next week) is the up-and-coming flavor of the week in education, even though it is neither new nor well-defined by the people who promote it (or the people who are implementing it in name only). But the basic principle is simple and, really, fairly common sensical. It offers a different solution to the age-old tension at the heart of education: students should definitely learn a certain core group of competencies, and they have to learn them in 180 days.” (more)

Moving Target: Preparing Today’s Minds For The STEM Jobs Of Tomorrow

Forbes – Andrew B. Raupp

“Education reform continues to be fiercely debated, but one thing is clear: It’s imperative that leaders align K-12 classrooms with the growing demands of the future science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. What makes this task particularly challenging is that today’s youth will likely face challenges that the adults around them can barely imagine. We’re living in a precarious moment in human history in which some have argued that technology is so disruptive that productivity is outpacing job growth. Preparing the children of today to succeed in a completely different job market is a responsibility we cannot ignore — even though it may feel impossible to keep up with such rapid change.” (more)

The Dual Immersion Solution

Edutopia – Conor P. Williams

“A number of these programs are already reporting academic and social gains from participating students, findings that build on a growing body of research that shows dual immersion offers academic and social benefits for English learners and fluent English speakers. A study of Portland’s program, for example, found that students enrolled in dual-language immersion programs had much better English reading scores than peers in English-only programs. And at Bethesda, the school’s academic growth is higher than 91 percent of schools in Georgia, and the percentages of students scoring proficient or better on standardized math, science, and social studies tests are above state averages.” (more)

Balancing Instruction in Social Studies

Edutopia – Aaron Pribble

“Universal skills like reading, writing, and speaking should be applied by students across disciplines and departments. Students should be practicing at least one of the three in every class, every day. But assigning a reading and telling students to talk or write about it is not enough. We need to continue to teach kids how to read through the years—helping them advance in using literacy strategies, annotating, or taking notes.” (more)